And Satan stood up against Israel, and persuaded David to number Israel. And David said to Joab and the rulers of the people, go ye and number Israel from Bersabe to Dan, and bring it to me that I may know the number of them. And Joab answered: the Lord make thy people an hundred times so many more as they be. But my Lord King, are they not all my Lords servants? Why then doth my Lord require this thing? why should my Lord be a cause of trespass to Israel?
Neverthelater the kings words prevailed against Joab. And Joab took his way and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem and gave the number of the count of the people unto David. And all Israel were in number a thousand, thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Juda was four hundred and seventy thousand men that drew sword. But the Levites and Benjamin he counted not among them. For the Kings deed seemed abominable to Joab. And the Lord was displeased with this thing, and smote Israel. The said David to God: I have sinned exceedingly in doing this thing. Nevertheless yet do away the wickedness of thy servant, for I have done above measure foolishly.
And the Lord spake unto Gad Davids seer of visions saying: go and tell David saying. Thus saith the Lord: I give thee the choice of three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do unto thee. And Gad came to David and said to him: Thus saith the Lord. Choose thee either three years famishment, or three months to be consumed of thine adversaries, the sword of thine enemies overtaking thee: or else the sword of the Lord three days and pestilence in the land, the Angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. And now advise thyself what word I shall bring again unto him that sent me. And David said to Gad, I am in an exceeding straight. But let me fall in to the hands of the Lord, for passing great is his mercy, and let me not fall unto the hands of men.
And the Lord sent pestilence upon all Israel, so that there were overthrown of Israel seventy thousand men. And God sent the Angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. And as he was about to destroy, the Lord beheld and had compassion on the wretchedness, and said to the Angel that destroyed, it is enough, now cease thine hand. And the Angel of the Lord stood by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. And David lifted up his eyes and saw the Angel of the Lord stand between the earth and heaven with a drawn sword in his hand stretched out toward Jerusalem. Then fell David and the elders of Israel clothed in sack upon their faces. And David said unto God: Is it not I that commanded to number the people? And I am he that have sinned and done evil in deed. But what have these sheep done? Let thine hand therefore O' Lord God be on me and on my fathers house, and not on thy people to destroy them.
And the Angel commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go and rear up an altar unto the Lord, in the threshing door of Ornan the Jebusite. And David went at the saying of Gad which spake in the name of the Lord. And Ornan turned about and saw the Angel, and his four sons with him, and hid themselves: for Oman was threshing wheat. And David came to Ornan. And when Ornan looked and saw David, he went out of the threshing floor and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground.
And David said to Ornan: give me the place of the threshing floor, that I may build an altar therein unto the Lord. Let me have it for as much money as it is worth, that the plague may cease from the people. And Ornan said to David: take it to thee, and let my Lord king do that seemeth good in his eyes. See, I give thee oxen for a burntsacrifice, and the threshing sleds for wood, and wheat for meatoffering: I give it all. But king David said to Ornan: not so, but I will buy it for as much money as it is worth. I will not take that which is thine, for the Lord, and offer burntoffering without cost.
And so David gave to Ornan for the place sickles of gold six hundred by weight. And David built there an altar unto the Lord and offered burntofferings and peaceofferings and called unto the Lord and he heard him from heaven in fire upon the altar of burntoffering. And the Lord commanded the Angel to put up his sword again to the sheath of it. At that time when David saw, that the Lord had heard him in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite: he used to offer there. For the tabernacle of the Lord which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burntoffering were that season in the hill at Gabaon. And David could not go before it to seek God, because he was afraid of the sword of the Angel of the Lord. And David said: this is the house of the Lord God, and this the burntoffering altar for Israel.